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Different Trains


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Audio CD, September 27, 2005
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Signum
  • ASIN: B000AOVL4K
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,746 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Triple Quartet, for 3 string quartets: 1
2. Triple Quartet, for 3 string quartets: 2
3. Triple Quartet, for 3 string quartets: 3
4. Duet for 2 violins & strings, or chamber ensemble
5. Different Trains, for double string quartet & tape: America - Before the war
6. Different Trains, for double string quartet & tape: Europe - During the war
7. Different Trains, for double string quartet & tape: After the war

Editorial Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thomas More on December 30, 2010
Format: Audio CD
The signature piece here, "Different Trains," was inspired by Steve Reich's experiences travelling by rail during the time of World War II. The composition earned him a grammy for best contemporary classical composition in 1989 and has been recorded by the Duke String Quartet, the Kronos Quartet, and here by the Smith Quartet. This rendition was elected one of the 250 greatest recordings of all time by an elite panel of artists and critics for Gramophone Magazine's June 2010 issue. A moving interpretation of a modern classic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lady Fancifull on March 4, 2013
Format: Audio CD
This is a difficult album to sit with - because of the title piece, Different Trains, which is of course a famous piece of modern music which contains the dreadful weight of our twentieth century history within it. 'Inspired' by an awareness of the musical and rhythmic possibilities of the sound of trains, Reich wove these train sounds, together with recorded speech, and strong music, into a 3 movement piece, America before the war, Europe During the war years, Europe after the war. The dark despair of certain train journeys in Europe is overwhelming in this piece, their destinations underscored by the voices of camp survivors woven into the last 2 movements. A horrific, horrifying piece. It IS a piece of music, but one which I find it impossible to relate to in terms of musical interpretation. It is a piece which had to be written, given events, but should NEVER have had to be written, at least the last 2 movements, hence the unbearableness of this piece.

I am grateful for the ordering of the pieces in this. I have a version Different Trains / Electric Counterpoint with Pat Methany, and have to say I cannot listen to anything after Different Trains itself, as I am too overwhelmed. It seems equally impossible, disrespectful, to ignore DT and just play Electric Counterpoint.

On this disc, I can come to DT after the experience of the very very beautiful Triple Quartet, and Duet. Music which is edgy, driving, containing that sense of movement and journey - indeed, it hints, inexorably at the Different Trains which darkly await, but I can be moved by the strange beauty of the dissonance of these cross rhythms, arising lyrical lines which weave through close, jarring harmonic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By JimmyHayes on May 4, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
No matter how you feel about abstract music, minimalist music, or whatever you want to call it, this work has the effect of pulling you in and making you listen. It is a wild ride on a train into infinity. For all its churning energy, it's breathless almost screeching syncopation, in the end it is about humanity.
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